By David Rogers. KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — With an estimated 2,000 cross country athletes converging on the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex, Sept. 8, there was plenty of “harrier-raising” action to be had.
Women’s 5,000 Meters Championship
In the Women’s Championship class, Mt. Tabor senior Bronwyn Parks ran away with top honors (17:49.80), followed by Chandler Welsh of R.J. Reynolds and Grace Hanson of Weddington in third place. Two hundred eighty-five (285) athletes from 39 high schools competed.
Watauga’s best included sophomore Janie Beach Verhay (No. 115), and a trio of freshmen in Maggie Visser (No. 149), Lainey Johnston (No. 157), and Winter Shaw (No. 164).
Men’s 5,000 Meters Championship
Out of 297 athletes competing, Watauga’s Will Bradbury finished No. 8. The event was won by Noah Valyo of Athens Drive (15:14.70). Ardey Kell’s Raghav Gopalakrishnan was second and North Raleigh Christian Academy’s Tyler Surface was third.
Watauga senior Sam Nixon finished No. 105 while Calvin Zwetsloot, still just a sophomore, finished No. 144.
Girls Middle School 2-Mile
Cate Townsend of Watauga continued to show she is someone to contend with by finishing No. 2 in the Girls Middle School 2-Mile event. Kaitlyn Estep of Without Limits Triangle running club topped the field, while teammate Anneka Hill was No. 3.
Just over 100 girls competed in the race, which saw seven Watauga runners in the top 50, including sixth graders Kate James Moore (No. 11) and Maia Carter (No. 14). Others included Lillian Kimbrough (No. 22), Sophia Stull (No. 24), Sadie Long (No. 31), Eva Hannon (No. 33) and Noelle Bollman (No. 47).
As a team, Watauga’s boys were No. 7, the girls No. 2 among all of the teams competing, including club teams. The girls were No. 1 among middle school teams only, the boys team was No. 6 among middle school teams only.
Boys Middle School 2-Mile
Out of 119 competing athletes, Watauga 7th grader Jonah Pearson was No. 16 around the course. Parkwood Middle School eight grader Joshua Palmer was No. 1, followed by a trio of Without Limits Triangle harriers in Galvin Clewly, Nathan Vo, and Samuel Neil.
Blowing Rock School 7th grader Sean Rea was No. 18 in the field, while fellow Watauga teammate Asa Freed, a 6th grader, finished No. 66.